This hugely popular Chrome extension was riddled with malware

Google Chrome
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Google has removed a popular extension from the Chrome (opens in new tab) Web Store after discovering that it was riddled with malware (opens in new tab). The Great Suspender plugin is even being proactively disabled by the search engine giant across accounts that have previously installed it.

The Great Suspender was hugely popular because it made Chrome operate more smoothly. It worked by automatically putting tabs to sleep if they hadn’t been looked at for a while but made them easy to reload. It essentially reduced the amount of RAM the web browser (opens in new tab) was consuming.

However, it seems that a change of ownership has led to The Great Suspender becoming infected with malware. Last year, the extension was sold to an unknown party and, since then, an updated version has been vulnerable to a remote code execution attack.

Tab management

Version 7.1.8 was the first to include the malware strain, which led to the extension being removed from Microsoft Edge (opens in new tab)’s extension store. It remained available to Chrome users because a subsequent update removed the malware. Now, Google seems to have changed tact, de-listing and disabling the extension.

One issue for users of The Great Suspender is how to recover their lost tabs with any suspended tabs automatically closed as a result of the plug-in’s removal. However, the online community has discovered a way to get those seemingly lost tabs back. By navigating to chrome://history and searching for The Great Suspender’s extension ID: “klbibkeccnjlkjkiokjodocebajanakg,” users should find a list of the URLs connected to the suspended tabs.

The Great Suspender was particularly useful for individuals that liked to have a large number of tabs open at any one time. Unfortunately, Chrome users will now need to find another way of managing their tabs. Alternatively, they could try a different browser, such as Vivaldi, which now offers two-level tab stacks (opens in new tab).

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Via 9to5Google (opens in new tab)

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with ITProPortal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.